4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
How do you prepare children for the changes and challenges they will face as they return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic? Drawing from her experience as a teacher, Elena Grant provides young readers with a detailed glimpse of what to expect in the classroom in her informative children's book, A New First Day. The story follows Cindy and her mask-clad classmates as they navigate social distancing and classes taught on Zoom. Grant sensitively conveys the challenges Cindy faces as well as her apprehension and frustration.
This timely children's book is 48 pages. It is professionally edited and features lovely illustrations by Tianjian Qu. Both the author and the illustrator include multicultural and bilingual representation through the vocabulary and colorful images of children of different ethnicities. In addition to educating young readers about the virus and necessary precautions, the book traverses themes of fear, frustration, resilience, reassurance, family, faith, joy, and healthy hygiene.
There is a lot to like about this educational picture book. Grant's experience with children is evident; she effectively expresses details from a child's perspective, including Cindy's desire to see her teacher's smiling face behind her mask. Grant also includes age-appropriate humor, such as Cindy's emphatic response that she "didn't want that crown on her head!" after she learned the definition of "corona" in Spanish class. Children will relate to Cindy's delight in making fun face masks during arts and crafts. The illustrations are excellent, and the appearance of the Zoom screen featuring multiple students is quite realistic. The book is an excellent resource for reassuring students beginning or returning to school during the pandemic.
As might be surmised from the previous paragraph, I am unable to name anything I dislike about this delightful children's book. Grant educates young students without scaring them. She also includes an illustrated list of protective precautions and a brief glossary of vocabulary words.
I am pleased to rate A New First Day 4 out of 4 stars. Its relevant topic, educational content, and multicultural representation will appeal to anyone desiring to teach children about staying safe during the pandemic. I recommend it to students through the age of 10, parents, grandparents, and teachers.
A New First Day
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon